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The American Red Cross works to reduce fire related deaths and injuries with the Home Fire Campaign

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It can happen any time. Homes catch on fire, and sometimes people inside those homes die. The Red Cross wants to do something about that.

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is taking place in North Alabama and across the country to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by 25 percent.

The Red Cross has been installing smoke alarms in homes that need them and teaching people about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home. Joining the Red Cross will be volunteer groups and local volunteer fire departments.

"Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we`re joining with groups from across our community to install smoke alarms," said Shirley Crutcher, Disaster Program Manager for the North Alabama Chapter. "We also will be teaching people how to be safe should a fire occur in their home."

The North Alabama Chapter has installed over 1000 of these in this two year period

Nationally, since the Home Fire Campaign was launched in October of 2014, the Red Cross and its campaign partners have helped save at least 95 lives and installed 290,000 smoke alarms in 4,900 cities and towns in all 50 states.

As part of the Home Fire Campaign, the Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home,

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

  • If someone doesn`t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
  • If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don`t work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice that plan. What`s the household`s escape time?

People can learn how to help prevent a home fire and what to do if one occurs by downloading the Red Cross Emergency App.

Children can have fun and learn how to prevent a home fire and other emergencies in the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App.

The First Aid App provides expert advice including what to do for burns, broken bones and breathing and cardiac emergencies. The apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.

Visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect yourself and your homes from fire.

To find out more about the Home Fire Campaign in this area or to become a volunteer, contact the local chapter at 256-536-0084